The best time to visit Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary in India is October through March which is great if you are looking to getaway on a birding vacation during the fall, winter, and/or spring.
If you look at the table below of the average temperatures and more importantly, rainfall, November starts to be a little less rainy than October so if you're schedule allows, wait until November if you have a choice between those two months.
Pulicat Lake is a birder's paradise of migrating water birds including flamingos, flap wings, open and painted storks, spoonbills, black cranes, egrets, pelicans, northern pintails among lots of other ducks and other water bird species.
Pulicat Lake is located at the border of the states Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Naduon the Barricade Island of Sriharikota.
The Bird Sanctuary is about 100 km from Chennai traveling on the Nellore Highway.
Pulicat is the second-largest brackish water lake in India and you could easily spend spend 4-5 hours exploring the area bird watching.
If you want to see more birds and have better opportunities for taking photographs, you can take a boat ride from local guides from the boat house in Pulicat Village.
You can also negotiate with fishermen to take you around the lake.
The Annamalacheri fishing village is a good place to find one who will give you a ride for several hours if you want at a very reasonable cost in rupees.
If your schedule allows, take a drive over to Nellapatu Bird Sanctuary which is 30 km form Pulicat.
You can see some other birds you may not see at Pulicat and is also breeding area for spot-billed pelicans, Asian openbills, black-crowned night herons, little cormorants, and black-headed ibis.
Best time to visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary - June thru November. Located in Mandya District of Karnataka near Mysuru, southern-central India.
Best time to visit Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary - Oct thru March. Located in Sultanpur, Gurugram, Haryana, northern India, west of Nepal.
Boatman Yuvaraj is very experienced in spotting birds and has good knowledge of the birds too. I would strongly recommend Yuvraj if you are planning to do bird watching or bird photography in pulicat lake
Here is a video covering the ride from Chennai to the sanctuary to view the sunrise and a boat ride:
Arriving at sunrise or staying there for the sunset is an added bonus with the sun rising or setting over the vast lake.
The closest airport from Pulicat Lake at 100 km is the Chennai International Airport (MAA).
Daily flight itineraries can be found on Google flights.
Hope you have a great visit to Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary and see lots of bird species and wildlife as well as enjoy its beauty and tranquility.
Pulicat, among other bird sanctuaries in India, was one of our favorite birding destinations to visit. Let us know how your trip was when your return!
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